After playing a doubleheader on Saturday, the Reds & White Sox finish their weekend series on Sunday afternoon in Chicago. We handicap the starting pitchers in this game when preparing our MLB picks.
The Cincinnati Reds Can Win Because…
Their opposing starting pitcher is bad, and the Reds’ starting pitcher is someone the White Sox have never faced.
First, consider how poorly Chicago starter John Danks has pitched this season. (He did not pitch against the Reds last season.) Danks has a 6.20 ERA. He has given up at least three runs in all five starts, and at least four runs in three of his five starts. In his most recent outing, he lasted only 2 1/3 innings (against Minnesota on May 3). He was tagged for eight hits and seven runs, though four of those runs were unearned. Danks has never pitched into the seventh inning this season, and he’s pitched six complete innings only twice. His ceiling this season is six innings and three runs, which he achieved twice. In his other three starts, he’s been worse.
Now, about Cincinnati’s pitcher, who could give Chicago trouble:
Michael Lorenzen is a 23-year-old rookie with just two starts to his credit. You can make a claim that he might not be ready, but Lorenzen has actually shown signs that he’s going to settle in and be a positive force for the Reds. The ERA is 3.27, which is not amazing, but certainly solid. It’s based on only two starts, but note that Lorenzen improved from his first start to his second one. In his first start, he gave up three runs in five innings on eight hits. In his second start, on May 5 against Pittsburgh, he gave up one run in six innings on just three hits. That performance shows that Lorenzen can adjust. He can polish his pitching mechanics to get the results he wants. It’s a big plus for the Reds to see this. If Lorenzen makes another forward step in his evolution, he’s going to be able to put together consecutive quality starts. Should he do this, Cincinnati will be in a good position on Sunday.
The Chicago White Sox Can Win Because…
Favored by the MLB betting odds, CWS are facing a young pitcher who could very easily unravel. There is always the possibility that a young pitcher will thrive, because opposing hitters haven’t seen him. However, there’s also the very real chance that a young pitcher will make mistakes and fail to locate the ball properly. If Lorenzen doesn’t maintain focus, this game will easily flow to Chicago. One other thing about Lorenzen: He has pitched two games in the National League, meaning that he gets to face a pitcher. Now, Lorenzen has to pitch to a designated hitter. He will have fewer easy outs. He will find it a lot more challenging to get through an American League batting order.
The White Sox could get to Lorenzen but Danks has been so bad this season that it’s hard to trust Chicago. Take Cincinnati with your MLB picks in this one.
MLB Pick: Cincinnati at WagerWeb